Walorski to USTR Tai: Manufacturers Need Targeted Tariff Relief

Friday, May 14, 2021

Walorski to USTR Tai: Manufacturers Need Targeted Tariff Relief

Also Urges Top Trade Official Not to Jeopardize American Innovation, National Security Through Vaccine IP Waiver

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) at a Ways and Means Committee hearing Thursday called for targeted tariff relief for American manufacturers. Walorski urged U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to establish an exclusion process for Section 301 tariffs and called for swift action in Congress to renew the expired Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB).

“I’ve heard of many instances where companies and their workers are being disadvantaged by these tariffs because they manufacture here in the United States,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “This is an urgent matter. Without targeted relief, these tariffs will hurt our economic recovery. Another important issue is renewing GSP as quickly as possible. Its lapse is currently hitting manufacturers in my district, such as the RV industry, to the tune of $1 million per month, and I know my constituents are not the only ones feeling that pressure. I hope this Committee can work together in a bipartisan fashion to get GSP as well as MTB across the finish line.”

In a letter to USTR, Walorski last month led 101 of her colleagues in calling for an exclusion process that is “transparent, consistently applied, based on facts,” and includes “expedited procedures for those who had been granted exclusions in the past.” They also said the process should be “administered in a way that would not undermine the broader and critically important bipartisan support to address serious concerns with China’s behavior.”

Ambassador Tai and Congresswoman Walorski in a committee hearing room

Walorski and Tai discuss trade issues that impact Hoosier small businesses, RV manufacturers, farmers, and workers.

Walorski today also pressed Ambassador Tai on the administration’s decision to support a waiver of vaccine intellectual property rights at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“I have seen little evidence an IP waiver will increase the global availability of the vaccine since many of these countries are ill-equipped to produce the vaccine without other technical support from the manufacturers,” Congresswoman Walorski said. “I also don’t understand the rationale of giving away American intellectual property to our economic and national security competitors like China. If providing vaccines worldwide is the administration’s goal, there are other ways to achieve it without undercutting the companies that have invested resources and hard work into developing these vaccines and other medicines to fight the pandemic.”

Video of Congresswoman Walorski questioning Ambassador Tai at the hearing is available here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.

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